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Spring means it’s time to start sprucing up your home and garden with a little TLC, inside and out. It also might be the right time to get rid of old home and garden goods and get something new to make your life a little easier.

Investing in quality products, properly maintaining and storing them can impact how long they’ll stay in good working condition. As you tackle spring cleaning this year, take stock of your common home and garden equipment to determine what may need updating.

Lawn mower. If your mower needs a repair that exceeds its value, it’s time for a new one. But, there may be other signs that an upgrade is warranted. Rough operation, frequent breakdowns or other indications of faulty performance deserve a second look. Before you buy new, remember to check your warranty to determine whether repairs might be covered. And, make sure to research prices online before you show up at a home and garden store for a big purchase.

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Vacuum. Many homeowners discard their used vacuum when it stops picking up dirt and debris as efficiently as it did originally. Before you move on, however, be sure to check that performance issues aren’t the result of clogged hoses or a filter that needs cleaning or replacing. A belt may also be worn or need adjusting. Other signs it may be time to replace the vacuum include damaged or frayed cords or motor issues, such as overheating or making strange noises. 

Grill. A grill may last anywhere from five to 15 years, depending on the quality of the materials and how it is maintained. It is, however, common to have to replace parts, such as burners that evenly distribute heat, along the way. Signs you may need a new grill include a firebox (the main enclosure) with cracks, rust or holes and burners that distribute heat unevenly. Damaged grates can affect even grilling if they’re warped. If they’re flaky or rusted, they can contaminate food. If you’re not able to replace the grates, or any other essential part, including hoses and connectors for a gas grill, you’ll be better off replacing the unit.

There are several home projects that are bigger in scale than just replacing a mower, vacuum or grill. Some ideas:

Automate cleaning of your whole house. There are lots of good tools out there, such as all-in-one vacuums and mop robots, that efficiently clean your home and can automate hands-free cleaning. The right tool will save you time so your weekend can be a real weekend.

Enhance the space under a raised deck. With more Lowcountry homes being elevated, you might be able to get some extra space for added storage or to enjoy the outdoors. Consider adding electricity or gas lines to accommodate grills, ceiling fans, other appliances, lights and entertainment.

Clean out the pantry. A spring cleaning of your pantry allows you to discard expired items and rethink the space. For example, you can reorganize and simplify the area with ventilated and adjustable shelving.

Regardless of any project you decide to take on this spring, you might want to keep these tips in mind:

Make function a priority. While aesthetic changes may boost value and please the eye, be sure to consider upgrades that make living easier, like organization units that give you more space or upgrades that create additional living space.

Keep a realistic budget. Make a list of the projects you’d like to complete and estimate how much each will cost. Use the list to determine what you can afford to complete now.

Do your research. If you’ll be making a significant purchase such as a new vacuum or grill, be sure to explore your options, read reviews and shop around for the best prices for greater confidence in what you choose.

You can find more home and garden tips at eLivingtoday.com

Family Features contributed to this story.